Tonight's wrestling dual was one of the most exciting sporting events I've seen at PHS in quite a while.
In a dual against Crescent Valley, the Warriors trailed early because of three weight divisions that they had to forfeit. Seniors Tony Rath and Keltin Benson took care of business with first-period pins but then the Raiders won at the next two weight divisions to take a 36-12 lead.
CV didn't score the rest of the night with Philomath winning the last six matches. As you can read in the sports story that I put together, freshman Issiah Blackburn had a memorable evening. It was fun talking to the wrestlers afterward and in fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen Kane Rust so excited.
Joey Howell's senior project was used for the varsity matches. I'm talking about the spotlight that hangs overhead. I like the idea of these spotlights for wrestling matches. I think it creates a competitive atmosphere that must give the wrestlers an extra shot of adrenalin.
Something I noticed tonight also was the wrestling team's huddles before one of its own takes the mat. They all get together and shout the wrestler's name, something done for the junior varsity competitors as well.
Rio Jensen won one of two matches in the exhibition portion of the dual. She got a pin in 1:11 over her first opponent. In her second match, it appeared that she might pull out another win but CV's wrestler got her on her back in the third period.
I had wanted to interview Rio afterward for a possible sports story on girls wrestling, but in the excitement of the varsity dual's outcome, I lost track of her. I'll try for that story later this season. And I'm very sad to see Jaime Chambers out for the season with an injury. The good news is she's an underclassman so she could be back out here next season.